Leica Camera AG pays dividend for the first time since 1997

Leica Camera AG, Solms, finished the 2010/2011 financial year (1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011) with record sales. With total sales of €248.8 m, the Hessian company with a long tradition of manufacturing cameras and sport optics products increased its sales by 57.2% compared to the previous year (€158.2 m). The company’s earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were almost six times higher. They rose from €7.4 m in the previous financial year to €41.5 m. The group profit was also higher than expected at €36.3 m, more than 11 times higher than the previous year (€3.2 m). At the company’s AGM on 12 August 2011, the board and supervisory board will propose that the shareholders distribute a dividend of €0.30 per share as a result of the positive balance. This would be the company’s first dividend payment since 1997.

Alfred Schopf, CEO of Leica Camera AG: ‘The increase in sales is primarily due to strong demand for the Leica M and Leica S camera systems. In addition, the products presented at photokina in September 2010 have also increased the momentum. Our employees deserve to be thanked for the fact that, with the most complete product range in the history of Leica, we have been able to increase sales continuously since the third quarter of the 2009/2010 financial year.’ According to Schopf, excellent quality and perfect service have top priority at the company. He adds: ‘The result of the most recent financial year is the best incentive for Leica Camera AG to continue on our successful course. This will also include a high level of investment in the company and in product development both this year and next – which means we expect less quickly further growth during these two financial years.’

At photokina 2010, Leica Camera AG introduced its Leica D-Lux 5 compact camera, the Leica V-Lux 2 super-zoom camera, a new Leica X1 design in black, the special limited-edition Leica Page 2 of 2 Publishing rights free of charge; please provide a specimen copy. M9 Titanium and the Leica Silverline optimal instruments. After photokina, the volume of orders grew so quickly that it caused shipping delays.

However, the company was able to meet the demand by optimising the supply chain, adding employees to production and creating special shifts. ‘The board has already approved suitable measures for further optimisation,’ said Andreas Lobejäger, financial director of Leica Camera AG. ‘Because we are financially well equipped, we can use investments to power further development at Leica Camera, and we are now consolidating our growth from the last 1.5 financial years. By means of product and service innovations and efficient supply chains, we are assuring the sustainable competitive ability of the company. For the 2011/2012 financial year, we are counting on an increase in sales of at least 3 to 5 per cent and an EBIT of considerable over €20 m.’

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